Publisher's Note: Concord central
By Jody Reese
It’s easy to spot the outsiders in Concord — or, rather, hear them as they pronounce the city’s name “Con-cord,” like the California city, not “Con-kerd” as locals and settled transplants call it. Outsiders may wonder why there aren’t general-admission tours of our capital buildings or why the capital building isn’t open weekends. Busloads of visitors are dumped in Concord with little open to them. At rest stops, there are no Concord visitor guides.
But for the many people who have visited other state capitals Concord stands out for its beauty, its early American charms and its manageable size.
Concord is special and people from throughout the country and abroad enjoy visiting it and more could. But Concord needs to see itself as a destination, and not just for state reps.
But Concord really doesn’t have anything that people from other places would be interested in visiting. Really? How about the Capitol Center for the Arts, the state’s premiere performing theater, or Red River Theatres, the state’s only art-house cinema? What about the Statehouse, the Museum of New Hampshire History, the state library, St. Paul’s, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and numerous other historic and cultural facilities?
Concord also has vibrant downtown retail district with huge record and candy stores, an independent book store and numerous cafes. While Manchester and Nashua both sport cafes they don’t have any movie theater, book store or record store downtown.
Nevertheless, when this Manchester resident is up in Concord on the weekend and runs into acquaintances, they ask if I’ve moved to Concord. I’m visting, I say — it always comes as a shock. Many of my friends in Manchester visit Concord regularly to enjoy all it has to offer.
Concord has all the elements to be a fantastic destination; now it just needs to leverage them.
Good economic news: In September the jobless rate declined in 23 states. The Northeast and Midwest have done the best with job growth but also lost fewer jobs than the South, industrial Northwest and West Coast. While New Hampshire has done exceedingly well reducing its unemployment rate, North and South Dakota have rates around 4 percent. According to the Wall Street Journal 48 states have seen decreases in unemployment since the stimulus was passed. What does the Fox doom network say about that? Not sure this helps any of us personally, but Apple beat IBM, earning a staggering $4.31 billion from July through September (AT&T activated 5.2 million iPhones during that period). Microsoft is expected to earn almost $5 billion for the same period. In completely unrelated news, the moon has water on it, Some science guy was quoted as saying it was really wet up there, not cheesy at all. And finally, Intel, the manufacturer of computer chips, plans to add about 1,000 new jobs and invest up to $8 billion on American plants. In commercial real estate, buying activity has picked up, according to Robert Bachm, chief economist at commercial broker Grubb & Ellis. The value of commercial real estate deals is up 82 percent this year over last and the number of transactions is up 20 percent.